For the City Times
What is the Week of the Young Child™? The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world’s largest early childhood education association, with nearly 60,000 members and a network of 50 local, state, and regional Affiliates.
The purpose of the Week of the Young Child™ is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.
NAEYC first established the Week of the Young Child™ in 1971, recognizing that the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later life. The Week of the Young Child™ is a time to plan how we—as citizens of a community, of a state, and of a nation—will better meet the needs of all young children and their families.
Who coordinates the Week of the Young Child™?
NAEYC designates the Week of the Young Child™ dates and theme, but events are planned and implemented by local communities. Celebrations are organized and coordinated by regional, state, and local NAEYC Affiliates, and by individual early childhood programs and community organizations providing services to young children and families.
Local communities may tailor celebrations to meet their own needs. For example, while NAEYC traditionally designates a Week of the Young Child™, some groups generate so much enthusiasm and support that they celebrate the “Month of the Young Child.” Others have modified the dates of their celebration to coordinate with other community scheduled events.
However adapted, the central purpose remains unchanged—to promote the needs of young children, their families, and the early childhood programs that serve them.
Why focus on young children and early childhood programs?
Today we know more than ever before about the importance of children’s earliest years in shaping their learning and development. Yet, never before have the needs of young children and their families been more pressing.
The Week of the Young Child™ is a time to recognize that children’s opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of early environment—at home, at child care, at school, and in the community—that will promote their early learning.
Childcaring, Inc., your local child care resource and referral agency is proud to once again celebrate Week of the Young Child™. To bring more awareness of this celebration and the importance of children’s earliest years, Childcaring invites you to participate in the Paper Doll Project. Children simply decorate a paper doll for it to be proudly displayed throughout communities to again focus public attention on the needs of young children, their families, and those that care for them. Visit www.childcaring.org or call 1-800-628-8534 for more information. You can also stay connected with early education resources in central Wisconsin by liking the Childcaring Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ChildcaringInc